One of the Leftist opposition parties in South Korea has launched a campaign to buy the first shipment of U.S. beef and destroy it. It's part of a protest revolving around its claim that government measures are insufficient to ensure the public's safety from BSE.
The nine tons of U.S. beef has been in limbo since arriving in South Korea in late October. The Democratic Labor Party (DLP), claiming the beef could be tainted by BSE, is trying to raise about $107,000 to buy the beef.
Admittedly, it's a great public-relations stunt for the DLP, and a relatively inexpensive one. Purchase of a little more than $100,000 in beef could translate into millions in free publicity.
Of course, it can never be seen as a positive to have this kind of negative press about beef. But it is akin to what we see in this country when some radical activist group elects to grandstand an issue, only to end up playing to a yawning public turned off by its tactics.
One thing is for sure: there happens to be a lot of pent-up demand for beef in South Korea. On the bright side, every pound destroyed by such groups offers up the prospect of another pound we get to ship.